How to Make Your Disability an Asset While at Work
Most companies have come a long way toward
establishing an inclusive work environment for all employees. However, you may
still encounter challenges with demonstrating to others that you’re capable of
performing well in your position, or you may still be developing your
confidence with a new disability. Either way, the following strategies make it
possible to turn your disability into an asset that gets you positive
recognition at work.
Draw Upon Your Personal Experiences
As you already know, your disability doesn’t define you. Yet, you’ve gained significant strengths and skills as a result of learning how to overcome various challenges in your life. You also have a rich background that includes education and work experiences you bring to the table. For instance, if you’re living with a disability due to an injury you sustained in the military, highlighting how your military service taught you teamwork and responsibility takes the attention away from your disability and helps you apply your skills to your work duties. Alternatively, learning to adapt to new technology that helps you manage challenges has taught you how to address changes in the workplace.
Apply for Positions That Fit Your Strengths
The right career for you should bring out your strengths while providing just enough of a challenge to keep you motivated toward personal growth. While you shouldn’t limit yourself to only specific positions or career fields, it does help to know what you’re good at before you contact an employer. Consider taking a career inventory or working with a professional mentor if you’re unsure of what types of jobs fit your abilities. Making sure you fit the job criteria means you’ll be better able to serve as an asset within the company,
Be Up Front About Your Needs
The process of applying for jobs you can work disabled or joining a new company is bound to generate some nervousness, and you may be afraid of appearing too needy. However, your employer wants to know you have everything you need to be successful. If you need a special accommodation such as a place to rest during a customer service position or a desk that fits your wheelchair, be up front about it. Having what you need in the workplace increases your productivity, which is a win-win situation for you and the company.
Build Strong Connections with Others
When you’re comfortable talking about your disability, you open up opportunities to build relationships with your coworkers and customers. For instance, if share a few details about how you use dictation software to overcome challenges with typing at work, your colleagues may decide to try it out for themselves. Alternatively, you could share a few of your business travel secrets that apply to people with all types of abilities. Sharing knowledge and a confident smile with everyone you meet at work helps you leverage your disability and find success.
Though there are many suitable jobs for disabled men and women, it’s important to find the one that’s right for you. Depending on your skill set, you’re sure to find some amazing employment options among the job listings provided by disABLEDperson, Inc. To learn more about our charitable organization, give us a call at 760-420-1269.